“Cinema is Everywhere” is a documentary celebrating the global influence of movies. It is structured with four narratives (from India, China, Scotland, and Tunisia). These four stories include commentary and dialogue from filmmakers and ordinary moviegoers illustrating the vast reach of celluloid.
A young actress in Mumbai tries to break into “Bollywood”; two friends/filmmakers (Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins) in Scotland take their own mobile film festival across the highlands; a young crew in Hong Kong shoots their first film; and a Tunisian director anticipates the premiere of his documentary (about a man with AIDS, which is a very controversial subject in his country) at a major film festival.
These stories are wed with scenes of video stores, projection booths and their inner mechanics, film studios, cinemas, and city slums around the world. “Cinema is Everywhere” is a moving tapestry attempting to demonstrate the power of cinema to shape and influence the planet.
It’s worth a peek. If you love movies, you’ll get something out of this documentary. Unfortunately, something is curiously awry. The documentary is flimsy. The film’s strongest thread is Swinton and Cousins with their passion project–a truly unconventional film festival stripped of monetary preoccupations. Swinton and Cousins drive their unique enterprise with a passion unmatched by the other three narrative threads in this film.
The scenery and photography are nice and the intention is obviously genuine–but the flick feels a tad forced. The other three stories are simply not powerful enough to sustain the momentum the doc deserves (the Mumbai girl seeking stardom is basically reality TV and the Hong Kong youths making their film are mercilessly dull). The result is a doc that must have been sincere in its motives- but comes off as randomly executed, surprisingly repetitive and relatively un-inspired.
DIRECTOR: Teal Greyhavens